Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Thursday that the willingness shown by House Republicans to deal with immigration reform legislation has “encouraged” them, even if it means tackling the legislation piece by piece, Politico reports.
The two members of the Gang of Eight spoke outside the White House after meeting with President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
McCain stressed the Senate could work with a piecemeal approach by the House.
“We can work with them on different pieces of legislation,” McCain said.
“We want legislation that we can go to conference on.”
McCain made it clear that Congress would not be subject to influence by either the Senate or Obama to proceed in any one way.
“We respect the role of the Speaker and Congresswoman Pelosi, and the leadership challenges that they face,” McCain said.
“We are not trying to punt you or (put) inappropriate pressure on you.”
Schumer said Obama has been reaching out to members of Congress, who were conspicuously absent at today’s meeting.
“I know the president’s in constant touch with the House leadership,” Schumer said.
Schumer finds hope in the fact that House Republicans indicated this week the willingness to move forward on immigration reform, even if that move is nowhere near as comprehensive as the Senate bill.
“We realize their views are not the same as ours, but certainly the idea that they want to move forward on immigration reform is very encouraging,” Schumer said.
Schumer acknowledged that a “large percentage” agree action must be taken on immigration and “that they have to work with Democrats to pass anything."
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